Monday, May 21, 2018
Sports

Sooners hand Tech first loss

NORMAN, Okla. — Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell knew he likely would have to match Texas Tech's high-powered offense with big plays of his own.

He did just that in a 38-30 victory Saturday that gave the No. 10 Red Raiders' their first loss and reasserted the No. 17 Sooners as one of the Big 12's best.

Bell accounted for 293 yards of offense for the Sooners, throwing for 249 yards and two touchdowns. None of Bell's plays were bigger than his 76-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Saunders in the first half, which put Oklahoma up 14-7.

"You need to get some chunks," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. "It was a spark to get some big plays, and to get a chunk like that is a huge play in the game.

"It was a great throw by Blake and a great job by Jalen running it down and making the play."

Saunders finished with six catches for 153 yards and Damien Williams rushed for 97 yards and two touchdown for the Sooners, who forced three turnovers.

"You cannot come into this stadium against this team with those coaches and those athletes and do that," Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said of the turnovers. "We didn't take care of business."

The teams combined for 986 yards of offense, Oklahoma outgaining Texas Tech 526-460.

After watching the Red Raiders rally from 21-7 down to take a 24-21 lead, Lacoltan Bester provided the Sooners with a highlight-worthy rushing touchdown.

Bester initially thought about passing to Bell after taking the handoff on the end-around, but he reversed course and cut back through seemingly the entire defense. The result was a 35-yard touchdown run that put Oklahoma up 28-24.

Davis Webb followed by throwing his second interception of the game, a tipped pass.

Williams followed seven plays and 58 yards later with a 3-yard touchdown run to put the Sooners up 35-24.

"I felt like we had a lot of momentum when it was 24-21," Red Raiders receiver Jace Amaro said. "We just needed one more stop. We had a good chance of putting it away if we would've had one more score."

Bell, who finished with 44 yards on nine carries, and the rest of the Oklahoma offense struggled in the first quarter, gaining just 58 yards on four possessions. It was a similar script to a loss to Texas two weeks ago as well as last week when the Sooners fell behind 13-0 to Kansas before rallying.

"I think it has to do with team chemistry in our offense," Bell said.

"When we are running the ball and running the ball, all of sudden, we take a shot. That is when our offense is moving."

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